The importance of staying on gracious terms with your ex – particularly in ear-shot of your children – cannot be overstated. According to a long-term study by Dr. Judith S. Wallerstein, two out of three children from divorced families choose to never have their own children. This is likely because children are not only easily but often permanently damaged by their parents’ open hate for each other. When you malign your ex (or even share any ugly truths that destroy your child’s attachment to him or her), children often learn that love is conditional on their agreeing with you that either Mom or Dad is a “bad guy.”
Though none of these lessons are intentional, they are an unfortunate side effect of allowing your negative feelings for your ex overrun the love you have for your children. Remember: your children deserve both a Mom and a Dad. You have the power to make that happen for them.
(Information gathered from the article “Heroic Parenting” published in You’ve Got Choices: A Client Manual from Family Advocate.)